Consumer Brands’ Mobile Products Get Smarter

Heineken Share the Sofa“Mobile is the closest you can get to consumers. Our positioning is based on mobile’s personalization, pervasiveness and proximity to users.”

So said Greg Stuart, CEO of MMA (or the Mobile Marketing Association). He spoke at ANA/Association of National AdvertisersMobile First, Mobile Everywhere Conference on Tuesday in New York.

“Now consumers expect that they can fulfill more needs via mobile. During ‘mobile moments’ throughout the day and night, their wishes are met through mobile devices”, said Josh Bernoff, Forrester Research Inc’s SVP of idea development and author of The Mobile Mindshift. Consumer brand presenters from Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Heineken USA and Timex detailed their companies’ smart mobile initiatives that address customer’s desires 24/7.

Heineken USA’s #ShareTheSofa Q & A platform leverages personalized messaging:

“The more personal, the more impactful”, said Ron Amran, Heineken’s senior media director, and the beverage brand has heeded these words in its targeted mobile offerings. He said U.S. soccer fans of UEFA Champions League are time-challenged since the European matches take place during work hours in the states. In response, Heineken introduced #ShareTheSofa, Q & A mobile sessions where star players sit on a sofa and answer fans’ queries in real-time in English and Spanish. Results show that viewers now see Heineken as a more sociable brand.

Timex Ironman One GPS WatchTimex’s Ironman One GPS+ tech watch will provide contextual value:

“Watches are worn as a fashion statement, out of habit or to provide information. Consumers want data in one place but they don’t want the PC experience on their wrist”, said Shawn Cummings, Timex’s head of innovation and market strategy.When participating in sports, consumers prefer not to bring smartphones.

That’s why Timex’s soon-to-be-launched Ironman One GPS+ watch will feature fitness apps, music and messaging without being tethered to other mobile devices. It will also be water-resistant and include tracking features and emergency alert capabilities. Timex teamed up with tech providers ATT and Qualcomm on the design. They also partnered with Charity Miles and promoted the product with OneRelay, a running event in October between Chicago and New York.

Starwood Preferred Guest’s keyless product streamlines hotel’s check-in process:

“Mobile is no longer emerging, it’s mandatory”, said Arlie Sisson, Starwood’s associate director of mobile product strategy. The brand conducts user studies to prioritize guest needs, like the ability to replace stopping by the hotel’s front desk when they arrive.

She said their keyless product, featuring Bluetooth technology, enables guests to hold their phones up to hotel room doors, gym entrances and elevator buttons, so they function as room keys. The recent launch included selected Starwood brands: W Hotels, Aloft and Element, in 10 markets, and will expand to include 150 locations in 2015.

(Images courtesy of Heineken and Timex)